No Sympathy Cookies From Me

“As far as I'm concerned, these whiny little ass-wipes, who have very little, if at all NOTHING to do with this street name, should just keep their mouth shut about such an incident. They don't like the name, they should go buy some land, build a street, call it Darwin Lane, then go crawl back under the rock, from which they came.”

“Oh please, this country was founded and fought for because of religous persecution. Lets get back to being true Americans and if the other foreign people don't like it, please do leave this country and do all of us a big favor. I find nothing wrong with heaven, hell, saint or sinner but I do find fault with some of the idiots that complain about everything. Get a life people !!!”

“Christianity is the great civilizing force in history. Murderous oppression is what Christianity has successfully opposed.”

“The thing that shock
s me, is that the only people who are complaining about this sign, isn't other religious's the athiests. I can understand if it was Muslims arguing about the sign, when Christians denied them to build a mosque at Ground Zero. I could understand if it was the family, friends and coworkers of those seven, who requested not to make the street sign that name, due to the seven's upbringing in faith. I could even understand if it was a group of Satanists, conflicing with the sign. But it's none of those. It's the athiests who have their panties in a bunch. And that's what confuses me.”

“They say they are offended? How? How have we offended them? Usually, when one is offended, it's based off the antithesis to what is being done. Battles within different faiths is one thing. But athiests don't believe in anything. So how are they offended? Let's say I lived in a nation where the majority worshiped the Tooth Fairy. Or the Flying Speghetti Monster. Or the Cult of Subgenious. If I was encompased by promotions of their faith, I might laugh at their belief
s and find it a bit comical (as most athiests do with Christianity), but that's the extent of it. I know the Tooth Fairy is a myth, at least from my faith. But I wouldn't start a riot, forcing them to take down their street sign, which also promote it. It's a wasted effort. And, quite honestly, a waste of my time to do so. Yet here we have atheists, who spent hours, days of their lives, put loads of money and blood and sweat and tears into trying to debunk something they think doesn't exist. I don;t know, I just find that kind of funny. I mean, if you believe that nothing happens when you die and that there's nothing to life...then why are you so pissy about mythical street signs? It would be like me getting all fed up about a street sign which said 'Thor is my Lord'.”

These are some of the responses that I received in a debate regarding the “Seven in Heaven Way” street sign that honors the firefighters that died in the 9-11 terrorist attack. This is primarily a response to today's post from FriendlyAtheist, which has taken the stance that opposition to the sign is a ridiculous endeavor.

Yes, I have an issue with that street sign. I, personally, find it to be a rather mild and passive sign, but that is still no excuse to simply let it go and ignore it. It’s like seeing a child sneak a cookie when they know they’re not allowed to have any. That child should be made to put the cookie back and be explained to why they are not allowed to take them in the first place. Most of the arguments against the Atheists of New York are portraying them as the bad parent who won’t allow their Christians to have just one measly, heavenly cookie.

An argument that was brought up is that we should just change the name of all the religiously-named cities and roads (San Francisco, Los Angeles…). This just isn’t the case. I have no issue with homages to historical figures and concepts. The issue here is that this sign is an endorsement and an insinuation of the existence, and therefore affirmation of a Christian belief.

For instance, I have no issue with “Jesus Street,” but I do have a problem with “Jesus Will Save You Street.” Our parks can be full of Jesus Lakes, Allah Rivers, Valhalla Valleys, and so on. Once those statements turn to “Jesus Forgives Lake,” “Allah is the Way River,” or “Valhalla is for Heroes Valley,” that is when I have an issue.

Another argument is that atheists have no right to be offended. The only people who have that right are the families of the deceased and Christians. The families were apparently happy to oblige and chose that name and if we don’t like it, well, tough shit. On the other hand, how dare they make claims that those men went to heaven? Not just anyone can go there; it’s not by works alone, you know. How can they make such as strong assertion when they might not have been Christian? That sort of afterlife judgment belongs to God, not a street sign.

As much as we don’t want to be the baby-eating, happiness-killing atheists, the feelings of the family, Christians, and public opinion are not the point. The point is that this is a public road posting religious claims. The city created those signs with a specific Christian statement, and the law doesn't allow the government to be a pedestal to promote a religious view. By asserting the claim that those men went to heaven, that is a lawful acknowledgement that heaven exists and that heroes go there when they die.

Why are atheists offended? Because atheists do believe in something. We believe in science, reason, and secularism. We don't want religion and government to mingle because we don't want our children going through school indoctrinated with beliefs that should only be taught by their own family. We don't want to fear biased judgment from our government if we were to have different beliefs than the religious statements posted on the walls of our courtrooms. I can only speculate the riots that would happen if a courtroom were to post plaques with quotes from the Quran. We already know of the protests and death threats that occur if someone tries to build a privately funded mosque in New York City.

So no, we should not let Christians get away with that cookie for the sake of sympathy. This issue is not about atheists being offended at the message, it is that this message is endorsed by our government. It would have been perfectly fine if they had gotten a private business owner to host a plaque with that message, but a publicly funded street sign is capable of showing honor and respect without dosing it up with mythology.


Post a Comment